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AAP joins with health care organizations to prevent violence against hospitals

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, and Children’s Hospital Association wrote a letter to the Attorney General urging the investigation and prosecution of organizations and individuals threatening hospitals providing evidence-based gender-affirming care to pediatric patients.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joined efforts with the American Medical Association (AMA) and Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) to protect hospitals and physicians from violence after threats and attacks made in recent months.

A joint letter was written by the 3 organizations and sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland. The letter asks the Department of Justice to investigatethe rising threats and acts of violence targeting hospitals, physicians, and families of children, centered on those seeking evidence-based gender-affirming care.

Alongside a call to investigate the violence, the organizations also urged technology platforms to take steps in stopping rhetoric which has caused an increase in threats and acts of violence and led to harassment campaigns across the country, often targeting children’s hospitals and the physicians and staff who work there.

“Whether it’s newborns receiving intensive care, children getting cancer treatments or families accessing compassionate care for their transgender adolescents, all patients seeking treatment deserve to get the care they need without fear for their personal safety,” said Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP, AAP resident.

The AAP and AMA together make up over 270,000 physicians and over 220 children’s hospitals across the United States. Their call demands swift action against those responsible for the increase in violence.

“We cannot stand by as threats of violence against our members and their patients proliferate with little consequence. We call on the Department of Justice to investigate these attacks and social media platforms to reduce the spread of the misinformation enabling them,” said Szilagyi.

The groups have also made calls on social media platforms, including Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. These posts work to prevent the spread of disinformation, along with urging companies to implement policies which encourage safety and prevent hateful conduct.

“Threats and acts of violence are not a solution, nor a substitute, for civil dialogue about issues of a child or teen’s health and wellbeing.” said Amy Wimpey Knight, CHA president. In their letter, the groups stated that they stand by health care professionals providing evidence-based health care, including gender-affirming care.

Reference

Leading health care organizations urge action to protect physicians, hospitals, patients and families from violence. American Academy of Pediatrics. October 3, 2022. Accessed October19, 2022. https://www.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/aap/2022/leading-health-care-organizations-urge-action-to-protect-physicians-hospitals-patients-and-families-from-violence/?_ga=2.245491588.1645556569.1666027343-569756574.1659379938